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Live: Empty Bourbon St. a somber sign of Mardi Gras 2021

Mardi Gras 2021 was effectively cancelled - at least all of the public celebrations. A live video of an empty Bourbon Street illustrates the painful point.

An empty Bourbon Street is a somber sign of Mardi Gras 2021.

The celebration was largely cancelled late in 2020 when it was announced that there would be no live parades and no Carnival balls.

Mardi Gras 2020 was widely-believed to have been a super-spreader event that made New Orleans one of the first national hotspots for COVID.

The event helped spark a rash of COVID, represented by the devastating toll taken on the Krewe of Zulu, the city's iconic, mostly African-American parade that is one of the highlights of Mardi Gras Day.

In addition to the lack of parades, the city has blocked off most of the thoroughfares that are normally bustling with people in costumes celebrating the last big festival of food and fun prior to Lent.

COVID has been especially hard on New Orleans' tourism-based economy, shuttering bars and limiting restaurants to a fraction of their normal capacity. In addition, the city's major tourist events - Jazz Fest, French Quarter Fest, Essence Fest, the Bayou Classic and now Mardi Gras, have all been cancelled. 

However, the entire spirit of Mardi Gras could not be snuffed out. A few thousand residents decorated their homes in what has been dubbed the "Krewe of House Floats" or "Yardi Gras."

In addition, City Park housed and displayed some of the season's iconic floats in what was called "Floats in the Oaks," an event in a similar vein to its holiday-themed "Celebration in the Oaks."

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WWL-TV will be presenting coverage of Mardi Gras 2021 with a special that will run from 9 a.m. until 12:30 and that will feature whatever is going on around town and highlights from Carnivals past.